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The Lowdown on Apartments?

 
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 9:46 pm    Post subject: The Lowdown on Apartments? Reply with quote

I've been given accommodation by my employers since I've lived in Korea, but I've read with interest the threads both offering and looking for apartments here in Seoul in the Buy/Sell forum.

Depending on what happens over the next few weeks, I might be looking for a tide-me-over unfurnished apartment in Seoul for my wife and I come September for a few months, and have a couple of questions :

a) I've seen numbers in the zero-10 million deposit plus 300,000 or 400,000 per month range. What'll that get you (in terms of size, quality, age and location), if you want to live in a reasonably relatively decent neighbourhood? Not much, I know, and you've got to trade off one thing against the others, but any specific examples?

b) More importantly, have any of you found places where you can go on a month-by-month basis, or with 3-month or 6-month contract? If so, any details, specific or general, would be most welcome. My wife seems pretty sure that it's near impossible to find decent short-term accommo, but that seems unlikely to me.

c) Any good budongsans you can recommend for this sort of thing in Central or South-of-the-river Seoul? English is not a necessity, as my wife will probably be the main negotiator with this stuff, as usual.

Any other related info anyone can share would be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think one year leases are the minimum and two year is pretty much the standard.

10,000,000 and 400 to 500 a month should get you a 15 pyoung walk-up apt that is a little old. If you can I think you should try to get at least 30mil so you will have a place that you can be comfortable in.

Is your wife Korean? if she is she should be able to do most of the work. I am moving in two weeks and my wife did most of the work with input from me. we are paying 123,000,000 for a 24 pyoung 14th floor apartment by Ewha - no monthly.

My wifes sister runs a budongsan and gave us advice, go to the biggest cleanest and brightest place (common sense really), she also suggested to not use budongsans that are run by older people as they tend to be the shadies.
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks KCK....sorry, yeah, I didn't make that clear. The wife is Korean - I'm just trying to pick expat brains, as you guys and gals seem to have knowledge that isn't necessarily discoverable coming from the 'this is the way we do it and that's that' hanguk-mal side of things.

Any word of how to find shorter-term 'leases' (if indeed it's possible - officetels?) would be great...anyone?
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makushi



Joined: 08 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say no matter what area you decide go to several of the budong-sans in the area. There are a lot of holes in the listing system here and you may have four places tell you that nothing is available and the fifth place will have two for you.

Also, be sure to ask the commission up front. There is an industry standard, but we've had people not want to answer the question up front and then later try to charge us extra. They claimed it was "informal rule" for our area. Yeah right!

You also can negotiate a few things like new wall paper or getting some broken things fixed prior to moving in.

And you will need to clean the place prior to moving in...they don't do it for you when they leave.

If you've got the money, the apartments (24pyong range) in the small buildings without the security staff etc. can be found for under US$ 100K for purchase.

Happy hunting!
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kimcheeking
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

makushi wrote:
Also, be sure to ask the commission up front. There is an industry standard, but we've had people not want to answer the question up front and then later try to charge us extra. They claimed it was "informal rule" for our area. Yeah right!


actually this is regulated by the government, again I know this because of the sister-in-law. Maximum rates, it depends on a number of factors, pyung, building type, renting or selling. But as far as I know it's not related to the area.

Quote:
You also can negotiate a few things like new wall paper or getting some broken things fixed prior to moving in.

We are getting brand new cup-boards.

Quote:
And you will need to clean the place prior to moving in...they don't do it for you when they leave.

I've always moved into a clean place. When you hire movers they will clean your old house and then unpack and wash the dishes so there is no packing dust on them. They also dissessambled and reassembled all furnititure at a reaasonable price, much cheaper than in Canada with better service to boot.
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, moving into the new place I'm living in now was a breeze. The movers packed everything up, cleaned the old place, moved all the stuff (and we have a lot of stuff), cleaned the new place, unpacked, skedaddled. The ajumma even cleaned our fridge and restocked it.

We also talked them into giving us a free (nice) TV stand-sideboard thing, since the layout of the place was slightly different than the demo suite they showed us, and they didn't tell us it would be.

Best part was that the university paid for it all...(about 500,000 all-in, I think).


Not to get too repetetive or anything (*bump* Smile ) but anyone else have any info on shorter-term rentals? This is the crux of my questioning...
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heres my understanding of housing norms (having home-hunted last year).

Paying only key money requires signing a 2-year lease. What with low interest rates, these are getting harder to find. You can bail earlier but the responsibility to find new tenants is yours.

All rent (commonly an officetel) is month to month but expensive & youre likely to have dodgy neighbors.

Combination of key money & rent (most places advertised nowadays) is a 1-year deal, renewable at your option for another year without any increase in cost. Again, it would be up to you to find someone to assume the deposit if you leave early.

& of course wherever key money is involved, its prudent to run a credit check (to make sure theres no liens or outstanding taxes) on the owner at city hall or your local dong office -- a fairly straightforward procedure.
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BTM



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Back in the saddle.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that.

By dodgy neighbours, do you mean, er, hourly-rental types? Wink

Anyone have specific numbers/examples for officetels? I've never seen one, so I'm kind of in the dark there. I'm assuming generally newish and modernish, but teeny-tiny? Are they unfurnished? And if they're rent only, what are we looking at per month? 500K to a million, or more than that?

(Am I asking too many questions yet? ) Question
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